U.S. men hope to be 'positive representation' of what change can be

In his first remarks following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, U.S. national team coach Gregg Berhalter termed the day "low point for us" as a country and said "there's a lot of room to improve."

In response to a question on a media call with U.S. press on Monday, Berhalter said he had not yet spoken with his players about the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died on Jan. 6. A second Capitol police officer committed suicide three days later.

Players on the men's senior and under-23 national teams gathered in Bradenton, Florida, on Saturday. Monday was the first full day of training following the completion of COVID-19 protocols.

"The way I see this is, this is a low point for us," he said. "There's a lot of room to improve as a country, and it is something where we can all be better examples, we can all be better citizens. When you're watching [the riot], you know it doesn't jive at all with what we know as America to be. It's not who we are as a country, and it's disappointing to see, but all we can do is be good examples and continue our efforts in trying to make change."

Berhalter's message to his team: "Our work isn't done just because the year changed, and we need to keep going and persevere."

U.S. men's national team players adopted the slogan "Be the Change," wearing jerseys with that message during the playing of the national anthem before friendlies against Wales and Panama in November, the team's first matches in 10 months and first since the killing of George Floyd in May sparked widespread protests.

On Monday, U.S. forward Jordan Morris said "Be the Change" is the message national team players will continue to send.

"I think obviously we all realized how horrific those events were, and we all understand that there's a need for change in this country and in a lot of ways," he said. "I think the big thing for us, and what I've talked to guys about a little bit is hopefully our goal as a national team is to be a positive representation of what that change can be, and how we need to move forward. I think it's also in these hard times, we hope to be, as a team, a positive light because I know that these times are super challenging and there's so much going on, so much stress."

5 comments about "U.S. men hope to be 'positive representation' of what change can be".
  1. Sean Guillory, January 12, 2021 at 1:47 p.m.

    What happened at the Capital was disgusting but I also hope Berhalter and others feel the same about what happened earlier in the year with the fires and destruction in Portland and Seattle.

  2. Eric Pierce replied, January 12, 2021 at 5:42 p.m.

    I'm disgusted as well by the riots and looting during the summer, but there's no equivalency between a protest getting out of hand making room for looters to do damage, and a planned act of insurection with the intention of overthrowing our government, egged on by the outgoing commander in chief and his henchmen.

    That's the worst thing any president of our country has ever done. The mob went to the Capitol at his instigation shouting "hang Pence" and "kill Pelosi", the first and second in line to the presidency. He's always fearmonguering about "they want to turn our country into Venezuela." Well, he just did the most Venezuelan thing he could possibly ever do.

    It would have turned out much worse, but fortunately they were amateurs, a bunch of Gravy Seals and Y'all Qaeda who turned tail when the first shot was fired. Imagine if they had been pros. But they did manage to kill a police officer by bashing his brains in with a fire extinguisher. Blue Lives Matter, I guess?

    Anyway the topic here is soccer, not politics, so let me just say I hope the MNT can exemplify the character that our country has always been known for. I have high hopes for our team and the incoming young players, and I think our country will see improvement as well once we get past the outgoing toxicity.

  3. Michael Taddonio replied, January 12, 2021 at 7:23 p.m.

    I agree with Sean.

  4. Kenneth Bauer, January 12, 2021 at 2:52 p.m.

    I say we start small and try to qualify for the World Cup. Then maybe we can worry about changing the world.  

  5. Charles Callaghan, February 6, 2021 at 6:40 p.m.

    Well said, Eric Pierce

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